Mention behaviour, behaviour change, behaviourism, B.F. Skinner, reinforcement, punishment and this is me!
Mention behaviour, behaviour change, behaviourism, B.F. Skinner, reinforcement, punishment and this is me!
Thanks for follow as well! I have roll call of other ABA-related blogs on my main page linked here: http://behaviouristatplay.tumblr.com/rollcall
I will add your blog to the list. Do you know of any others?
Thank you for your question. It prompted me to check my notes on RFT as I have only minimal understanding of contextual behaviourism and where the science is going with it. To be honest, I am having a hard time wrapping my brain around contextual behaviourism as described in the literature; however, I think I subscribe to its basic premise philosophically - i.e., I don’t think Skinnerian behaviourism/behaviour analysis is the be all and end all of explanations and that human behaviour is far more complex than just a simple cause and effect relationship. That being said, I believe the principles of behaviour analysis are always in effect and that our understanding starts with a basic Antecedent-Behaviour-Consequence (A-B-C) analysis of what we can see or hear. I recognize that it does not end there and that the baton now gets passed onto contextual behaviourism to explain the other layers that may be present - thought, language, emotion, etc. that are also influential.
Extending upon the science of behaviour analysis to describe the complexities of language, cognition, culture and the “human condition” (Hayes, Barnes-Holmes & Wilson, 2012, p. 1) seems like the next level of analysis to dive into. However, I don’t think we necessarily throw out what B.F. Skinner had to say about human behaviour. Skinner’s radical behaviourism reminds us to be parsimonious when explaining human behaviour and the functional relationships that exist within our environment. It may seem very rigid but there still exists acknowledgement of learning history and the vast number of contingencies and their contexts that add to the complexity of their behaviours. Skinner (1953) said it himself:
Behavior is a difficult subject matter, not because it is inaccessible but because it is extremely complex. Since it is a process, rather than a thing, it cannot be held still for observation. It is changing, fluid, and evanescent… (p. 15).
There are details surrounding one’s behaviours that an applied behaviourist such as myself may fail to note or that which I can never go back far enough to trace. However the details we do see or hear - a functional analysis of sorts - is still, at best, a guess (though an educated and data informed one we hope!) We may never achieve the absolute true answer as to why we behave the way we do, but we can use the data we have to make predictions and guide effective interventions, changes to our environment. Contextual behaviourism (as I understand it) aims to add more details to deepen our understanding beyond a linear A-B-C analysis. For example, I could aim to “see” or understand all the different relations that exist with any stimulus and response I have noted in my practice (cf. Blackledge, 2003). This additional scope and depth can aid in our decision making. Since no ABA-based intervention is a guaranteed solution, knowledge gained from contextual behaviourism may improve our selecting the most effective intervention.
I think it is fascinating to apply a behaviourist lens to concepts inherent in the human condition. Concepts such as forgiveness, responsibility, respect, care etc., are all demonstrated by our actions - i.e., behaviours which have been conditioned. Part of why I blog about ABA in the context of everyday events is to put this lens on the concepts we take for granted as just being within ourselves. Like Skinner, I see everything as a behaviour and I try to offer this view point when I can - even if just philosophizing. I may evolve to be a contextual behaviourist after all!
Blackledge, J.T. (2003). An introduction to the relational frame theory: Basic and applications. The Behavior Analyst Today, 3(4), 421-433.
Hayes, S.C., Barnes-Holmes, D. & Wilson, K.W. (2012). Contextual Behavior Science: Creating a science more adequate to the challenge of the human condition. Journal of Contextual Behavioral Science, 1(1), 1-16.
Skinner, B.F. (1953). Science and human behavior. New York, NY: The Free Press.
To stay connected to our colleagues involved in behaviour analysis a group of us meet over Twitter on Wednesday evenings for an #ABAchat. A variety of topics are discussed and resources are shared. New this fall is a Journal Club format where a specific article is read and reviewed. Participants can earn Continuing Education units towards maintaining their BCBA or BCaBA certification by participating in the discussion facilitated by a BCBA and passing a test. For more information on #ABAchat, please check the following link: http://behaviouristatplay.tumblr.com/ABAchat
The schedule of topics for the coming months is below:
November 7, 2012 - Assessment and treatment of elopement
November 21, 2012* - Journal Club: Guercio, Johnson & Dixon (2012). Behavioral treatment for pathological gambling in persons with acquired brain injury. Article available here.
December 5, 2012 - Behavioural Skills Training
December 19, 2012* - Journal Club: Trosclair-Lasserre et al. (2008). Reinforcement magnitude: An evaluation of preference and reinforcer efficacy. Article available here.
*This session of #ABAchat is CEU eligible. For more information on earning CEUs, please follow and send a message to Zach Shoemaker, BCBA (@BehaviorMethods)
If you have topic suggestions for future #ABAchats or would like to offer to facilitate a discussion, please leave a message in the ‘Ask Me’ link on this blog or send me a tweet: @behaviouratplay.
Hope to see you around Twitter!
Pudding in a Bag
My time doing summer camp and respite are coming in handy these days. I ran this activity to highlight the use of task analysis and photo prompts in a classroom environment. The process of task analysis breaks down a complex chain of behaviours into its smaller steps; much like a recipe. By completing a task analysis, an educator or therapist can now assess which steps a learner can perform independently and which of those would require teaching, prompting.
This particular task was broken down into five steps. In another setting, or with another learner, more or less steps may get outlined. Task analyses vary depending on the complexity of the task, the skills our learner already has and the level of preparation available before the task even starts. For example, we had the materials out and in front of the students before they began.
Once the steps were determined, I then ran through the task myself and had pictures taken of each step. These photos were then used to help cue the students in following the steps of making their own pudding. Staff would show the picture to help the student understand what was expected of them. The nice thing about visual or photo prompts is that the learner can refer to them as needed and staff do not need to repeat their instructions over and over; they simply redirect the learner’s attention to the photo. There is truth in the statement, “A picture is worth a thousand words.”
Hi @olcrein. Yes, there is the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis (JABA) available here: http://seab.envmed.rochester.edu/jaba/ and the Journal of Experimental Analysis of Behavior available here: http://seab.envmed.rochester.edu/jeab/index.html. Both are open access (except for the latest issue) and can be searched using key words.
These journals are also free:
Analysis of Verbal Behavior http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/journals/609/
The Behavior Analyst http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/journals/557/
Behavior Analyst Online http://www.baojournal.com/
There is also the Journal of Positive Behavior Interventions but you need a subscription for that.
Hope this gives you a good starting point. It’s great that many journals on behaviour analysis are openly available. It’s how we’re getting our science out there.
The summer is upon us but there is still lots to discuss regarding Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA). #ABAchat will pare down its schedule and move to a bi-weekly format. Starting this month, we are also featuring a ‘Journal Club’ aspect to the chat where we will review a seminal article in the field or the latest research in ABA. This will occur the last Wednesday of the month and we invite participants to suggest articles and/or volunteer to moderate the discussion. The second Wednesday of the month will be a selected topic; again, as suggested by our participants.
If you do not see a twitter handle listed as a moderator, please consider offering to moderate.
And here we go….
June 20, 2012 - ABA and Occupational Therapy: Collaboration and roles in treatment (led by @landafoxBCBA)
June 27, 2012 - Journal Club: Green, G. (2001). Behavior analytic instruction for learners with autism: Advances in stimulus control technology. Focus on Autism and Other Developmental Disabilities, 16(2), 72-85. Available here: http://bit.ly/M2lhQS
July 11, 2012 - Matching Law
July 25, 2012 - Journal Club: Bosch, S. & Fuqua, R.W. (2001). Behavioral cusps: A model for selecting target behaviors. Journal of Applied Behaviour Analysis, 34(1), 123-125. Available here: http://seab.envmed.rochester.edu/jaba/articles/2001/jaba-34-01-0123.pdf (led by @behaviouratplay)
August 8, 2012 - Incidental Teaching
August 22, 2012 - Self-Monitoring (led by @behaviouratplay)
August 29th - Journal Club: Carr, E.G. & Durand, V.M. (1985). Reducing behavior problems through functional communication training. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 18(2), 111-126. Available here: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1307999/pdf/jaba00028-0013.pdf
September 12, 2012 - Modeling
September 26, 2012 - Journal Club: ??
If you have a suggested topic, an article for upcoming #ABAchat or want to moderate a discussion, please leave a comment below or hit me up on Twitter (@behaviouratplay)
Time for another season of #ABAchat. Consider joining us on Wednesday evenings at 9 p.m. EST on Twitter to discuss topics and issues related to the science and use of applied behaviour analysis (ABA). The schedule of topics is as follows:
March 14, 2012 - Why ABA? How did you get into the field of ABA? What pivotal moments have defined your career, use of ABA?
March 21, 2012 - Ethics of ABA (moderated by @behaviorbabe)
March 28, 2012 - Teaching requesting (manding) and other communication skills
April 4, 2012 - Joint attention
April 11, 2012 - TAGteach (Teaching with Acoustical Guidance; moderated by @behaviorbabe). Check out this site for more: http://www.tagteach.com/ *further articles are coming.
April 18, 2012 - Data collection - how do we make it easy and accessible for everyone to gather? Related article: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2790945/pdf/jaba-42-04-827.pdf
April 25, 2012 - “Isn’t reinforcement just bribery?” and “rewards ruin intrinsic motivation” debate. *Read up on Alfie Kohn’s and Daniel Pink’s views on rewards/motivation and Philip Strain’s rebuttal, ‘A Not So Good Job With “Good Job”’.
May 2, 2012 - Non-contingent reinforcement (NCR) or fixed-time schedules of reinforcement. Here is a related article: http://www.jeabjaba.org/jaba/articles/1997/jaba-30-01-0127.pdf
May 9, 2012 - ABA in the work setting - are we practicing what we preach?
We took a break from #ABAchat during the holidays and I am looking forward to getting it up and running again. We are a group of behaviour analysts, students, consumers, parents, educators, etc. who gather over Twitter on Wednesday evenings at 9 p.m. EST to discuss topics relating to applied behaviour analysis (ABA). Join us on Twitter and follow the hashtag, #ABAchat to read what’s being discussed in the field.
The schedule of topics is:
January 11, 2012 - history of ABA; dimensions of ABA that are still current (see http://seab.envmed.rochester.edu/jaba/articles/1968/jaba-01-01-0091.pdf and http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1286071/pdf/jaba00102-0014.pdf for details)
January 18, 2012 - caseloads and service delivery
January 25, 2012 - motivation (here’s an article on the subject: http://www.mee.tcd.ie/neuraleng/pmwiki/uploads/People.Robert/TPRVol60No2-Whelan.pdf - an interesting take on the motivating operation)
February 1, 2012 - smoking cessation
February 8, 2012 - ABA vs. Positive Behaviour Support (PBS) - same or different? (here’s an article on the background with ABA and PBS: http://www.eric.ed.gov/PDFS/EJ800989.pdf)
February 15, 2012 - Over-generalization
February 22, 2012 - Procrastination
February 29, 2012 - TBD*
*If you have any other topics or questions you’d like to discuss feel free to tweet me (@behaviouratplay) or drop a suggestion in my ask box. I’ll update with relevant articles/readings if I come across anything or if someone shares something with me.
Looking forward to this season’s #ABAchat!
Motivating Operation: I am tired
Antecedent: Sitting on the couch, I see pillow beside me
Behaviour: Lay down on the couch, rest my head on the pillow and have a nap
Consequence: I get some sleep; no longer tired.Did you notice I added a fourth contingency to today's post? Motivating operations (MOs) alter the value of the potential reinforcer and effect the current frequency of the behaviour. There are many other times when I sit on the couch, notice the pillow beside me but don't lay down; presumably, because I am not tired. In this example however, I was tired. The value of sleep was higher and therefore, laying down behaviour in the presence of the couch and pillow occurred and was reinforced. Technically, all operant behaviours have these four contingencies at play, but we often do not have enough information to know about possible MO conditions. MO is important to consider when asking ourselves, "Why doesn't person A do behaviour X this time, even though it is the exact same conditions as before?" The environment may be the same, but the person's recent history with a potential reinforcer may have changed whether or not they even want/need the reward the environment/person is prepared to offer. Some food for thought (but only if you're hungry).